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Open AccessArticle

Impact of a Soil Conditioner Integrated into Fertilization Scheme on Orange and Lemon Seedling Physiological Performances

Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Indian River Research and Education Center, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(7), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070812
Received: 15 May 2020 / Revised: 23 June 2020 / Accepted: 26 June 2020 / Published: 28 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Soil on Plants Physiology)
Growers in Florida face unique challenges regarding maintaining proper citrus nutrition.
Poor draining soils with low fertility, low C.E.C., and high rates of leaching are common in this
region. In response to these challenges, interest has grown in products labeled as soil conditioners.
Using a completely randomized experimental design, this greenhouse study tested the effects of 5
different combinations of a traditional fertilizer (TF) and a new soil conditioner (SC) on lemon and
orange seedling physiology. Eight-month-old ‘Bearss’ lemon and ‘Valencia’ sweet orange grafted
on sour orange rootstocks were employed, and five repetitions were used for each treatment. Plant
biomass (dry weight), height, stem diameter, chlorophyll content, stomatal conductance and
nutrient uptake were analyzed after 120 days of treatment. The results show that SC has a positive
impact upon both chlorophyll levels and stomatal conductance values in both orange and lemon
seedlings. However, based on dry weight growth data, we can only conclude that the SC was
effective for orange seedlings at 50% TF and 0.5% SC. Based on this short 120-day evaluation, the
SC achieved positive growth promotion for orange (50% TF) but not for lemon seedlings.
Keywords: citrus physiology; fertilization; soil amendment citrus physiology; fertilization; soil amendment
MDPI and ACS Style

Rossi, L.; Hallman, L.M.; Adams, S.N.; Ac-Pangan, W.O. Impact of a Soil Conditioner Integrated into Fertilization Scheme on Orange and Lemon Seedling Physiological Performances. Plants 2020, 9, 812.

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